Last Updated: April 5, 2018 16:04 pm

Good lighting is a vital design element. Lighting affects the ambiance and atmosphere of any given space. However, choosing light fixtures based on how they look rather than their performance and distribution often results in a waste of energy and less than optimal light output. On the other hand, if you get the lighting right the whole look of your interiors will improve. If you can create the best lighting for your house, you are half way to creating a comfortable home.

So you need to choose your light fixtures wisely, and we are here to help you do so. This is how to create the best lighting for your house.

Consider the height

Consider the height

Before you buy any light fixtures you should measure your ceiling height.

Not all lights come with adjustable cables or rods, and you do not want to get stuck with a light that hangs too low or too high.

Pro tip: The bottom of a light should hang about 12 to 20 inches below a standard 8-foot ceiling. For each additional foot of ceiling height, add 3 inches.

If a light will be hanging over a table or a kitchen island, 28 to 34 inches is the recommended distance from the bottom of the light to the surface of the table or island.

Nonetheless, the size of the light makes a big difference. As a rule, a smaller light can be moved a little lower and a larger light can be moved a little higher.

Turn it up

Turn it up

Do not limit your options to down lights, consider wall sconces or up lighting to create a softer ambiance and avoid dark shadows.

Pro tip: Always mount a sconce, if you choose to hang some, above eye level. Approximately 66 inches from the center of the fixture to the floor, so that the lamp source is not visible.

Bulbs make a difference

Bulbs make a difference

The type of light bulb you choose is very important. Halogen, compact fluorescent and LED bulbs come in a range of warm or cool hues.

The type of glow you want is mostly a personal decision, but to create the best lighting effect, it should complement your paint.

Pro tip: If your walls are covered in cooler tones, you might want to warm them up with a warm glow. On the other hand, you may want a cooler glow to brighten up a darker space.

Versatile areas call for versatile lighting

Versatile areas call for versatile lighting

In a versatile space such as the living room, it is important to set the right balance. This is a space which should be flexible, it is usually used as a place to relax but it can also be used to entertain guests.

So consider using permanent fixtures such as chandeliers or pendant lamps but add some floor lamps and sconces.

Pro tip: A dimmer switch is highly recommended in such a room.

Highlight your focal points

Highlight your focal points

Places with clear focal points are the easiest rooms to light.

For example: the dining table is always the focal point of the dining room. So usually, a chandelier or a pendant light is chosen for this area.

However, you can also add a task lamp or accent lights if you wish to put the spotlight on a piece of art on the wall.

Relax your way into sleep

Relax your way into sleep

Try to opt for restful and relaxing warm light in bedrooms, white light sharpens your senses while warm light is much more relaxing.

Also choose some nice lamps for the bedside tables, preferably something with light dimmers.

Do not forget task areas

Do not forget task areas

Task areas in the kitchen or the bathroom vanity need higher watt bulbs.

Spotlights are a great option for those areas, when designing your house; add some spotlights here and there.

Use under cabinet lighting in the kitchen to help prevent shadows on the counters, while adding critical light to the workspace.

Moreover, fluorescent under cabinet fixtures are a cost efficient lighting source.

Pro tip: Kitchens less than 100 square feet require a two lamp fluorescent overhead light; more square feet will require supplemental lighting.

Brighten up your outside areas

Brighten up your outside areas

Use functional and fun lighting in your outside areas.

Extend the hours you can spend outside and provide additional security by brightening up the outside areas in your house.

Whether it is a balcony or a garden, creating the best lighting makes open spaces more happy and inviting.

For more lighting tips see also:

Interior Lighting encyclopedia: the best Tips to Brighten up your Home

Catch the Sun: how to get more light in your home?

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